National

Militant activity in Kashmir

Srinagar: Two militants including Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief were killed and a woman injured during a gun-fight with police on Foreshore road near Hazratbal, on March 10.

“The duo travelling in a car were intercepted by police. Militants opened fire that was retaliated, triggering a gunfight resulting in the death of the two militants”, said police. The militants were identified as Qari Hamad and Abu Bilal.

Describing it as a ‘major breakthrough against militancy’ police said “the Commander was involved in master-minding Qamarwari attack and was responsible for an attack in Pattan last year and an attack on the residence of SP Sopore on December 5”. Police adds he was actively considering regrouping of Jaish militants in Tarzoo area.

Three militants including a divisional commander of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) were killed in two encounters with police and security forces in north Kashmir’s Sopore and south Kashmir’s Shopian, on March 12. The slain divisional commander identified as Chota Kalimullah alias Shamsher alias Talwar Bhai was killed in a gunfight with a joint party of police, 22 RR and CRPF at Kralteng-Muslim Peer, Sopore. Two local militants, Ishfaq Ahmed Chopan alias Mithu resident of Harmen and Khurshid Ahmed Itoo resident of Reban belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) were killed in another encounter at Lahend-Habdipora in Shopian.

Police on March 13 claimed to have killed a militant involved in the killing of two sisters in Sopore. “The bullet-ridden body of Waseem Ahmad Ganai alias Sheruni son of Abdul Ahad Ganai resident of Sheikh Sahab mohallah, Chinkipora in Sopore, a self-styled district commander of LeT, was recovered from encounter site”, says police. However, LeT denies its involvement in the killing of the sisters.

A Hizbul-Mujahideen militant, Abdul Rashid Awan son of Mohammad Hussian resident of Rakh-e-Pehlipora, Keller and a policeman, Ghulab Singh head-constable No. 95 of IRP-Ist BN were killed in a fierce gun-battle between militants and security forces in Keller-Shopian on March 19.

Grenade explosions and an IED rocked Sopore on March 15, but no one was injured. A militant outfit, LeT is suspected to be behind the blast. Militants hurled two hand-grenades towards CRPF camp. A few minutes later, an IED fitted in a gas cylinder exploded in the area.

Two policemen, Mohammad Ashraf, SPO belt number 154 and Constable Abdul Majid belt number 572 were critically injured when unidentified persons attacked them with sharp-edged weapons in south Kashmir’s Kulgam, on March 7.

A core group meeting on security issues chaired by Lt Gen S A Hasnain, GOC Chinar Corps and the Security Advisor was held here on March 17. Three children of Mohammad Sharief Khan resident of Marg village in Lolab-Kupwara in north Kashmir were wounded in an explosion inside their house as they were fiddling with an unexploded shell that they had collected from the field.

Relatives of detained Dukhtaran-e-Millat patron, Asiya Andrabi and other female separatist leader, Fehmeeda Sofi here on March 6 demanded their immediate release. Both are detained at central jail, Kote Bhalwal. Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M), Mirwaiz Umar Farooq returned to the valley on March 15 after a six-week visit to US, UK and Geneva. Police on March 11 arrested JKLF chairman, Mohammad Yasin Malik and some senior leaders of Hurriyat Conference (M) as they were staging a protest programme against alleged human rights violations in the state. They lit candles and bonfire as a mark of protest. Police on March 11 claimed to have arrested district president of Hurriyat Conference (G), Ghulam Hassan Mir alias Choota Geelani.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 April 2011 on page no. 15

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